Finding a Job

CV and job interview tips in Qatar

From writing CVs in Qatar to preparing for interviews, we walk you through the full hiring process in the country.

CV Qatar

Updated 20-5-2024

Many expats are drawn to the idea of working in Qatar. After all, with higher salaries and no personal tax, the financial incentives are extremely appealing. However, if you are thinking about applying for jobs in Qatar, there are a few things you should know. Read on to learn about the following topics:

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Applying for a job in Qatar: what to expect

The job application process in Qatar is much the same as it is anywhere in the world. First, you will need to look for jobs that interest you. To that end, you should know that most jobs are advertised in English and online. Similarly, you will probably submit your application in English, by e-mail, or an online portal.

Man applying to jobs online

Next, you will have to prepare your application. This will involve writing a CV and compelling cover letter. CVs in Qatar should highlight your skills and experience, and there are two things to remember. Firstly, tone matters, so keep it professional. Secondly, CVs in Qatar should be slightly longer and more detailed than in other countries. Furthermore, make sure it is well-formatted.

If your application is successful, you may receive a phone call. This is usually a brief chat that serves as an initial screening. Following that, you may be invited for an interview. If you are overseas, this could be by phone or email. For highly competitive jobs, you may also be asked to do a second interview with senior management.

Afterward, you may receive a job offer. At this stage, you will want to discuss the details of your benefits package and the formalities of starting your job. However, if you do not receive a job offer, you may not hear from the company again.

Writing a CV in Qatar

Although CVs in Qatar are not very different from those in other countries, there may be a few subtle differences. Because of this, there are a few things you should keep in mind while writing one in Qatar.

Qatar CV structure

When writing a Qatar CV, there are a few important things to remember. Firstly, the tone of your CV matters. It should be professional and should not contain any grammar or spelling mistakes. Similarly, you should avoid using personal pronounces and overly complicated language. Use bullet points where appropriate to keep things simple. Additionally, the font should be readable. Try Times New Roman in size 12.

Man working on his CV

Secondly, the structure of CVs in Qatar is important. It should be presented in a format that is easy to read. Begin with a section that has all your contact information. This should include your name, phone number, and email. Next, you should list your professional experience, beginning with your most recent job. Each position should have your job title, the company name, the dates you worked there, and a brief description of your duties and achievements. After this, your CV should have information about your education. This should list any certificates or diplomas you have, along with any professional qualifications.

In addition, you should include some other information that will set you apart from other candidates. This might include the different languages you speak or what computer skills you have. Similarly, you may wish to include some of your interests. If you are involved in volunteering or community work, this is a good time to highlight this. One thing to note, however, is that you should not include a photo of yourself unless the job description specifically asks for this.

Overall, CVs in Qatar are at least two pages long. However, more experienced professionals could have resumes that are up to three pages.

Tips on writing a Qatar CV

  • Use present tense for your current job and past tense for previous jobs;
  • Numbers are good – use figures to showcase your achievements;
  • Make sure to check spelling and grammar;
  • Unless the job application asks for it, do not include things like photos, nationality, race, or politics;
  • Again, unless you are specifically asked to, do not list salaries or references

Qatar CV templates

Cover letters in Qatar

Cover letters are crucial for a successful job application in Qatar. While CVs will offer a detailed glimpse of your skills and experience, a cover letter is a good way to set yourself apart from other candidates.

The cover letter should begin with a header. This should have the sender’s address and recipient’s address, along with the date. After that, you should begin with a good opening. You should try and address the letter to the person who will receive it. However, if you can’t find their name, you can use a generic opening such as, “Dear Sir/Madam”.

Like Qatar CVs, structure is important when writing a good cover letter. It should begin with an introduction that says why you are writing and what position you are applying for. Next, the body should outline why you are interested in the job and what makes you a good fit. Try to include three or four examples of related skills or qualifications with examples. Finally, you can close the letter by reiterating your interest in the position. Additionally, you should state your availability for interviews and that you look forward to hearing from the company.

Your cover letter should not be longer than one page. Usually, three or four paragraphs will be enough. Don’t forget to customize each cover letter to the job you are applying for.

Phrases and accented letters

There are several phrases that are commonly used in cover letters, no matter where you are applying for a job. These can be helpful when writing your cover letter in Qatar, too.

  • Dear Sir/Madam;
  • I am writing to apply for the [role] with [company] which I saw on [job source];
  • Kindly find attached my resume for your consideration;
  • I look forward to hearing from you soon;
  • Sincerely

Job interviews in Qatar

Now that you have submitted your application, it’s time to prepare for your interview. Job interviews in Qatar are similar to what you might experience in other countries. However, there may be a few small cultural differences which you should be aware of.

Applicants waiting for a job interview

What to expect in a Qatar job interview

When it comes to job interviews in Qatar, you can expect the process to be quite similar to interviews anywhere else in the world. You may first have to do a phone interview with a human resources representative. This is an initial screening to verify your CV and see if you are a viable candidate.

You can then expect to have a face-to-face interview in the office. This would usually be with the person who will be your boss at the company. This should usually last between 30 minutes and an hour. During the interview, the interviewer may ask about your skills and experience, but they will also evaluate your work and leadership styles and whether you would be a good fit for the company.

In some cases, you may be asked to do a second interview. This is usually the case when a company has to choose between two or three highly qualified candidates. The second interview will often be with senior management and they will be trying to get a better sense of your character. You can expect a second interview to last about 30 minutes.

Dress code and appearance for Qatar job interviews

As in any other country, you should dress appropriately for job interviews in Qatar. You will want to dress smartly. However, you should also be comfortable in whatever you wear. Make sure to dress in clean, well-fitting clothes. For men, suits are often appropriate for corporate settings.

Well-dressed job applicant

In more relaxed offices, however, you could opt for a smart casual look. Women should remember that Qatar has a very conservative culture. Because of this, you will need to dress very modestly. This means covering your legs, arms, shoulders, and chest.

In terms of color, you can’t go wrong with neutral shades such as black, white, navy, and gray. However, it can be useful to add a little personality with subtle patterns or small pops of color. Of course, whatever you do, make sure to avoid wearing flip flops, hoodies, jeans, sneakers, and t-shirts.

Additionally, you will want to make sure you look professional by grooming yourself properly. This means brushing your hair and styling it properly, brushing your teeth, and putting on some deodorant.

Questions to expect in a Qatar job interview

  • “Tell us something about yourself.” Use this opportunity to describe your skills and experience with concrete examples;
  • “Why do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position?” Pick out some of the skills and duties from the job description and show how you fulfill these;
  • “Have you ever made a mistake at work?” Use this question to showcase your problem-solving skills. Give a brief example then describe how you corrected your mistake;
  • “What are your strengths?” Pick three things you are good at and give examples of how you used these at work;
  • “What are your weaknesses?” Choose one that does not relate directly to the job and remember to describe how you are trying to improve yourself;
  • “What do you know about our company?” This is where you can show that you have done your research;
  • “Why do you want to leave your current job?” Don’t bash your current company. Instead, talk about how you want new opportunities.

Questions to ask in a Qatar job interview

During a job interview in Qatar, you will often get the chance to ask your own questions. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the job and company. In addition, you can get a better idea of the company’s expectations and its day-to-day workings. However, this is not the time to ask about salaries and benefits. Save that for after you get a job offer. Here are a few good questions to ask:

  • What skills and experiences would your ideal candidate have?
  • What abilities do you consider necessary to succeeding in this role?
  • Where do you see the company in five years?
  • What’s your favorite thing about working here?
  • Do you have any hesitations about my skills or experiences?

When are salary and benefits discussed during the hiring process

In Qatar, most job advertisements do not usually have any indication of salaries. Because of this, you can expect to go through most of the hiring process without knowing exactly what kind of benefits package the company will offer. However, you can usually get a good indication of what to expect by doing some research online.

Qatari currency

Normally, salaries are discussed towards the end of an interview. As such, it is best to have a salary range in mind before you go to the interview. Since haggling is part of the Qatari culture, you will need to negotiate your salary and benefits package. Think about what skills, qualifications, and experience you have and how these can increase your salary. Additionally, it may be useful to negotiate more time off, better insurance, or any other type of compensation that you might accept instead of cash.

Tips for job interviews in Qatar

  • Do your research – you want to know about the company, its products or projects, and its competitors;
  • Dress appropriately – that means formally and modestly;
  • Bring a copy of your resume with you;
  • Make a good first impression by being friendly, confident, and humble;
  • Tell the truth – in this day and age, it’s easy to discover a lie;
  • Give relevant examples – putting your skills and experience into context is the best way to sell yourself;
  • Ask insightful questions to show your interest;
  • Send an email within 24 hours to thank your interviewer – mention something you discussed during the interview

Online and phone interviews in Qatar

After you have applied for a job in Qatar, you will often have to take a phone call with the company’s human resources department. This is a basic screening process that lets the company verify your CV and decide whether you might be a good candidate for the job. However, if you are overseas, you may be asked to do an online interview via Skype or FaceTime instead. If you find yourself in this position, here are a few helpful tips:

  • Charge your phone or laptop before your interview;
  • Find a place with a good phone or internet signal – and have a plan b in case this fails;
  • Look for a quiet place to take the call so there is no background noise;
  • Speak slowly and clearly, and use a friendly, professional tone;
  • Keep a notebook and pen handy in case you want to write down any notes;
  • For a video interview, groom and dress as if you were going into the company’s office

Recruitment tests and tasks in Qatar

Some companies in Qatar will ask you to take tests or assessments during the recruitment process. This is often the case if you are applying for jobs that require specific knowledge or with a government agency. For example, Teach for Qatar requires all applicants to take a subject knowledge test before their interview. If the interview is successful, the applicant is then invited to an assessment day to perform a series of tasks and assignments.

Woman typing on a laptop

The exact style of these tests and tasks differs according to the type of job you are applying for. For example, government jobs may ask you to sit language tests and behavioral analysis while finance jobs will often ask you to complete numerical and reasoning tests online. Similarly, creative jobs will often ask you to complete an example of the type of work you will do, such as writing an article or designing layouts.

Qualifications in Qatar

To work in Qatar, all your qualifications must be approved by the Ministry of External Affairs. This includes university degrees and professional qualifications. In addition, you must have the Qatar embassy in your country certify your degrees and get a letter from your university that confirms your qualifications.

After the job interview in Qatar

The post-interview process in Qatar is the same the world over. In most countries, you will have to wait a few weeks before you hear back from the company. Similarly, in Qatar, you can expect to wait at least a week or two after your interview. The full recruitment process, from application to offer, takes about a month; unless the position needs to be filled immediately.

If you are overseas, you will usually receive the job offer by email. This should normally include a brief overview of the terms of your contract. As a result, you should expect to begin negotiating your salary and benefits at this stage; if you have not already done so. If you do not get a job offer, however, you should not expect to hear back from the company. Many employers in Qatar do not normally engage with applicants once they decide that they will not be hiring them. Similarly, you should not expect to get feedback about your performance during the hiring process.

Assuming you have received a job offer and signed the contract, there are a few formalities to get through as you begin your new job. Firstly, your new employer will have to apply for a residency permit for you. If you are overseas, you may be asked to come to Qatar on a temporary visa first, and then complete the application process in Qatar. Secondly, you will have to get all the paperwork at your new job sorted. This means getting private health insurance through your employer, among other things. Additionally, Qatari law states that you must have a probation period of six months.

Help and support available for CVs and interviews in Qatar

Unfortunately, foreigners are not able to access any kind of social support while looking for work in Qatar. However, there are many agencies that can help you write a CV and prepare for an interview. You can find these here: